Dub, Jungle, Hip Hop, Disco, Electronica, Ska, Drum and Bass, Reggae, Rock, DnB
They're back! Although they've never really been away. Barry Ashworth's evergreen bunch of dubwise vagabonds have been rocking practically every festival in existence all summer, and yet have still found time to squeeze out a new album — their sixth. And it's another corker.
'The Return Of The Pistoleros' makes them sound like a Latin prison gang, extras in a spaghetti western, a marauding mob of Tequila-swigging mobsters, or a Mexican drug cartel. Some of which have a grain of truth to them. Joking aside, though, it's been a long road to get to where they are — one of the most popular and best-loved acts on the circuit — but it's testimony to their perseverance and staying power that their popularity still keeps increasing.
The Dubs have been dubbed 'The Pistoleros' in recent times by their army of fans — so it seemed only natural to adopt the tag for their latest album on Rob Da Bank's Sunday Best imprint. El Pistolero is also the nickname of Uruguay talisman Luiz Suarez, who knocked England out of the 2014 World Cup. But as Barry is a Liverpool fan, he's happy to still have this association. Just.
The Dub Pistols coalesced in the mid-'90s and initially surfed the big beat wave along with acts like the Chemical Brothers and Fatboy Slim. They had some minor chart hits like 'Cyclone' and 'There's Gonna Be A Riot' on Concrete Records, remixed the likes of Moby and Limp Bizkit, and made dramatic inroads into America. Their debut album in 1998, 'Point Blank', cemented their position as party-rockers extraordinaire, and by the time it came to their second album around the Millennium — 'Six Million Ways To Live', with guest vocals by reggae great Horace Andy and lead singer of The Specials, Terry Hall — they were more concerned with some of the world's problems.
The album was due to come out just before September 11th 2001 — the date of the Twin Towers terrorist attack in New York — and so had to be postponed. It was the start of the now-familiar Dub Pistols self-deprecating mantra: what could possibly go wrong?
As the noughties progressed, they signed to Sunday Best and went a bit more poppy for 'Speakers & Tweeters', which included cover versions of 'Rapture' by Blondie, 'Peaches' by The Stranglers and 'Gangsters' by The Specials – a track they had been making their own live. After guesting on their second album with 'Problem Is', estranged Specials singer Terry Hall started singing live with them, and the warm reaction he received from music fans was instrumental in him agreeing to reform his infamous 2-Tone band a few years later.
Next Dubs album 'Rum & Coke', so named after some infamous recording sessions in Barbados, introduced more guest vocalists such as former Freak Power man Ashley Slater and Beats International gal Lindy Layton, and with last long-player 'Worshipping The Dollar' in 2012 they consolidated their position as one of the foremost festival-rockers in Europe.
The Dubs toured with Neville Staple from The Specials at the start of 2014, and this led to the toaster guesting on 'Real Gangster' on the new 'Pistoleros' album. On the album, 'Our Life' is a free-spirited dub cut featuring long-term Dubs vocalists Lindy Layton and TK Lawrence. Languid beats song 'Say Goodbye' features the deep jazzual tones of Ashley Slater, 'Report' showcases major new hip-hop talent Genesis Elijah freeflowing over some lilting Dan Bowskill verses, and 'Kill Your Sound' has great reggae vocalist Seanie Tee all over it.
'Roll & Come In' sees the legendary Earl 16 (Leftfield etc) return to add sweet words to this spacious dub cut, and regular MC Darrison guests on dubwise drum & bass party track 'Ride With It'. And there's plenty more where that came from — it is, indeed, another corker.
Like their incendiary live shows, this new long-player is a riotous mix of dub, drum & bass, hip-hop, punk and ska. They'll be heading out on tour this autumn in support of the new 'Pistoleros' release, so watch out! The gun-slinging outlaws are back in town — and this time, they're swigging Tequila.
As a city style venue in the heart of a South Wales town, we offer you something that’s both special and memorable.
We’ve always had a huge and lucrative audience for live music. (Wales isn’t called ‘the land of song’ for nothing.)
However, touring musicians have been caught in a kind of limbo. There have been few places that can bridge the gap between a large theatre and the back of a pub. Jac’s aims to fill that gap: it’s a mid-sized custom music venue with affordable prices and a great atmosphere.
It’s a fully accessible building in the centre of Aberdare, within easy reach of the M4 and M5, and a few minutes’ walk from the town’s rail and bus stations. It’s based in the former home of a doctor, which served for many years as the United Services Club (known locally as ‘the Shot and Shell’).
Since then, it’s been transformed into a venue suitable for audiences of up to 300, with an integrated bar, plenty of seating and a large dance floor. You can chill out in the bar, and there’s ample car parking a short walk away.
Our function room can cater for private parties, and we’ll be offering meals and Sunday lunches. We’ve established a reputation for an eclectic mix of live music every Friday and Saturday, our occasional ‘theme’ nights and weekends, and our Pleasant Valley Sundays showcasing the best in acoustic music. We’re proud to host the Blowout indie/alternative nights in Aberdare, and we hope to build a reputation as the ‘go to’ place for musicians and fans alike. Our 8.5 kW PA and 24-channel mixing desk allow us to tailor your sound, while our state-of-the-art lighting rig will show you off at your best. Our Blackstar cabs and drumkit are available as standard – of course, if you’d rather use your own gear, that’s fine
Our extensive network means that we can arrange suitable support acts and provide a DJ to fill in between sets. Our team covers all bases, from hospitality and catering, promotion and networking, social media and online marketing, and (of course) technical support.
Jac’s is the one-stop shop for touring musicians in Wales. Further down the line we’ll be able to offer accommodation and something to soak up the previous night’s beer. The days of living out of the van are long gone (fortunately). We hope you’ll take advantage of the free time to explore our historic town and enjoy the spectacular scenery at the southern edge of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
Whilst every effort goes into ensuring this gig listing is accurate and up to date, always check with the venue before you travel.